Grace Hazard Conkling

(7 February 1878 - 15 November 1958 / New York City, New York)

Rheims Cathedral -- 1914 - Poem by Grace Hazard Conkling

A wingèd death has smitten dumb thy bells,
And poured them molten from thy tragic towers:
Now are the windows dust that were thy flowers
Patterned like frost, petalled like asphodels.
Gone are the angels and the archangels,
The saints, the little lamb above thy door,
The shepherd Christ! They are not, any more,
Save in the soul where exiled beauty dwells.

But who has heard within thy valuted gloom
That old divine insistence of the sea,
When music flows along the sculptured stone
In tides of prayer, for him thy windows bloom
Like faithful sunset, warm immortally!
Thy bells live on, and Heaven is in their tone!


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Poem Submitted: Thursday, April 22, 2010



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